Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Max: 7 Months

7 months is not an age I thought much about. I worried a lot about the newborn days, and reaching that 1 month mark. I thought a lot about 3 months, when I would return to work. Since I thought Max would be born in February, I thought a lot about 6 months, when I believed Max would start attending day care. I had my goal in my mind that we would make it to 6 months breastfeeding and then I'd be done. But like everything when it comes to having a baby, nothing went as expected. Max was born a month early, making him 7 months now. I'm still breastfeeding and now hope to for a year. And Max will be spending the year with my mom and won't go to daycare until he is more like 19 months (an age I can't even fathom at this point). 

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While I didn't think much about 7 months ahead of time, now that it's here, I kinda love it. Max is a happy guy. 

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This month for Max was filled with many great adventures and lots of play dates. It's easy to celebrate his day trip to Provincetown, or his even more epic day trip to Nantucket. 

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Max even went strollerblading one day!IMG 7397

Max has continued to impress me with his ability to adapt to his mom and dad's ridiculous plans for the day. I shouldn't even say adapt… Max LOVES being out and about as much as we do. 

Sometimes in motherhood I get bogged down with the day to day. The adventures are fun, but sometimes the "oh, you need to eat/sleep/get your diaper changed again" thing gets old. Especially on the day when he just wants to fight me instead of actually eating, sleeping or get his diaper changed. It can feel like I've spent the whole day trying to get him to eat or sleep. But, there is a lot of fun in the routine too. The photos below were taken on a day when Max fell asleep in the car and therefore refused to take an afternoon nap soon later, ha. IMG 7334

My other favorite part of the average day is walk time. Max is a super grump after dinner if we try to just hang out. So we go for walks instead. One day it was raining and none of us had rain gear at the Cape, so obviously Eric just made Max a poncho out of a plastic bag. 

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Max loves walking on the beach and now that we are home, he is probably thinking "wait a sec…" 

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The fact that Max can sit up now has really improved his ability to play independently. He enjoys sitting on the rug and just playing with his toys or looking at books now. It's amazing how much I can accomplish in the ten minutes or so Max will play by himself. If I want to stretch it out a bit, all I have to do is use whatever I'm doing in a game of Peekaboo. Both dishes and laundry are very useful to "hide" behind. When Max and I play together, he enjoys trying to eat the book as I read it, and also having me stack up a tower and then he knocks it down. What more can you ask for? 

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Likes: Max still loves everything I mentioned in his six month post and probably five for that matter. He also loves bath toys particularly if they squirt water at him. He loves being outside: going for walks or runs with us, swinging on the swings, riding on boats, just people watching in general. 

Dislikes: Max dislikes getting into his car seat. He has learned that he can stop me from putting him in (temporarily) by locking his legs in a straight position. Of course, I always win this battle but he hasn't figured that out yet. He is also starting to become more concerned about things like loud noises and falling backwards (while sitting), which used to not bother him at all. 

Sleeping: It's always a work in progress but it seems to be in a relatively good phase now. Bedtime around 8pm, wake up anywhere between 6 and 7. 2-3 naps a day of varying length and times, but a pretty reliable 8:30-10 nap in the AM. 

Eating: Max loves food and eating. His solid food eating times resemble a college student: breakfast at 10:30am, lunch at 3pm and dinner at 7pm. He continues to love pears, sweet potato and chicken, and yogurt. He usually nurses at 7am, 11:30am, 4:30pm and 7:45pm plus when he goes down for naps. I have no idea how this is all going to play out when I go back to work next week. In theory I should only have to pump at 11:30am, but I'm not sure how much milk he actually drinks before naps and if that will equal another pumping session. We shall see. 

 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

On Goal Setting

As you may remember, before I had Max I used to set monthly goals. I know goals are not for everyone, but for me they help me stay focused on things I want to accomplish. A lot of times, they help me incorporate something fun or focus on something I'd probably forget about otherwise. I still get annoyed like everyone else when I have to create artificial goals at work with all sorts of rules that end up making something I don't care about at all. But when left to my own devices, I love goals and they work for me. It helps that I try to keep them fun, and don't get upset if I don't meet them. 

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I have been on and off with actually setting goals lately. I've slipped into a pattern where if I have too much stress I eliminate the goals to take pressure off myself. Maybe that's the wrong way to go. 

Eric starts school tomorrow. I have a classroom to get ready and a year to prepare for. I have one last week to enjoy uninterrupted time with Max. I have every reason in the world to just worry about goals later. Which is why I'm choosing to worry about them now. For the rest of August, and all of September I'm going to try to write one or two weekly goals and see how I like it. 

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August 24-August 30th

1. Take Max to do something new. Take Max to an old favorite. 

2. Write a "To Do" list each day. Each list will have 5 items or less. 

Do you write out goals for yourself? 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Unknown

You knew this post was coming right? The night of July 31st I went to bed and had my first "back to school" nightmare. It involved having 40+ kids in my class while my other K teacher friends had 10. With that I welcomed the month of August. The Sunday of Summer. The infamous month of the August breakdown. I think I'm at my quota for breakdowns in the year 2014 so I'm going to try to ward off a complete flip out by just admitting it: I'm kind of freaking out. 

I thought that since I've already been back to work for 2 months as a "working mom" I wouldn't be as worried about going back in September. But, when I went back to school in April I was really just in survival mode. I basically had enough time to see how incredibly hard it was, but not enough time to come up with solutions to make it less impossible. Plus, I freak out every August, so clearly this year was going to be no exception. 

Here is a little of my current concerns/worries: 

1. It's going to be a lot harder to leave Max now that he is older. I actually left him more often as a newborn than I do now. Plus, he will actually probably know I'm gone now. 

2. Max has decided to start waking up in the middle of the night again. I'm sure he is just doing this to freak me out before school starts again. But still. 

3. I am so worried about what my class of 23 and counting kids are going to be like. Last year I had a pretty easy group and I still felt massively overwhelmed trying to get everything done in the limited time I have at work now. How in the world am I going to do it when I have a harder group?!

4. Plus, what if they are just crazy? 

5. What if their parents are crazy? 

6. What if Max never takes a nap because I can't nurse him to sleep? 

7. What if I don't have enough time to get all my kids names on things before open house? 

8. Should I sign Max up for swimming lessons? I have always looked forward to doing swim lessons with my baby ever since I taught them… but are they going to mess up his naps? Am I going to wake up and actually move on a weekend morning after doing it all week? Will it just add an obligation to an already too full schedule? Or will I be super bored and want to take him to swimming? I. DON'T. KNOW. 

9. When am I going to work out? Will I ever work out again? 

10. What am I going to take for lunch? 

So… clearly I'm super calm right now. I know logically it will all be fine and if any one of these things are not fine, worrying about it is not going to help. So make me stop. Thank you. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Things I'm Loving Right Now

This post idea was shamelessly stolen from Caroline. But mine will not be as beautiful and artistic as hers. Perhaps I can make it up to you with a cute photo of Max in his first restaurant high chair with BFF Teddy? See below. 

Did everyone have a good weekend? The weather was so gorgeous here. We had tons of visitors this weekend including both friends and family. It was super fun, but of course Max was super off schedule and so now I am exhausted and ready for a recovery week. Hopefully Max will agree. 11b

 

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Here are a few things I'm currently loving:  

The Ice Bucket Challenge- Have you heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge? It was started by BC alum Pete Frates to raise awareness of ALS. Basically, the idea is, if you get nominated you have to dump a bucket of ice water on your head (and video tape it and post to social media) and then nominate more people to do the same. If you don't want to dump the water on your head, you are supposed to donate to ALS research instead. I truly think the idea is AWESOME. Apparently, donations are way up and it's definitely raising awareness because I learned more about ALS than I ever knew in the past few days. As an added bonus, it has provided me with endless entertainment over the past few days. Suddenly putting Max down for a nap means watching one hilarious video after another. Plus, Eric and I did a joint video and then nominated Max, so he got to participate. I'm pretty sure he was ready to trade us in for new parents, but some day he will appreciate our sense of humor. 

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Waze App- Although I was introduced to this app awhile ago, i have just started to regularly use it now and I'm in love. Basically, it's a navigation app but it's so much better than regular GPS. It reads traffic patterns and reroutes you so that you get your destination as fast as possible. It also warns you about police officers and construction. The reason why it is so great is because it depends on other people using the app, so someone in the car 3 minutes ahead of you on the road is basically giving you up to date information. 

Elise Get's Crafty: Say No To Say Yes- As I have mentioned, I do not excel in the area of saying no. This podcast has helped me start to look at saying no as a way to say yes to other things. I have it bookmarked to listen to again right before school starts. 

What do you currently love? 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Currently: Max Edition 6.5 Months

Max is 6 1/2 months old. He had his 6 month appointment with the doctor last week. He is 17 lbs, 12 oz. This is the 50th percentile for weight, which is pretty crazy considering he started under the 5th percentile and he was exclusively breastfed until we started solids a few weeks ago. Also crazy? The guy is pretty short! He is 25 1/2 inches, which is the 20th percentile. This is also up from birth, but when your Dad is 6'4" being short is pretty unbelievable. 

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I thought it would be fun to do Max's version of the Currently post I did the other day. 

So, Max is currently...

reading Goodnight Moon and Moo Baa La La La

loving pears + oatmeal, and carrots, his the crawl ball, sitting outside at restaurants, laughing at his friends, swimming

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thinking "Will I wake up in my crib after this nap, or will I be in some other crazy place?"

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feeling so excited by life that makes noise while inhaling 

anticipating the day when he can have that glass of wine...

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(or he'd also settle for a beer)

inspired by people who take no naps but never get grouchy

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watching the Red Sox

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sad that all of his food is cold mush

working on crawling, getting from lying down to sitting, pulling up (basically anything that will help me MOVE), setting a record for longest car ride screaming fit

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looking forward to getting some teeth

grateful that he has his own red car to drive while Mom eats breakfast

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listening to country music

wishing all items could be shoved in his mouth

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Max wants to know what you are currently loving! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Best Friends

I met Katie when we were wide eyed, 18 year old, freshman at Boston College. I had slightly contradictory first impressions of the girl who would later become my best friend. In a drowning sea of JCrew outfits and fake smiles, I thought she was very real. But I was also overwhelmed by her. She had a boyfriend that she planned to marry. She had a promise ring and a hope chest, and I had never heard of either. She dreamed of decorating her future home and having lots of kids…I don't even dream of those things now, 12 years later. 

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Still, we became friends. Later, best friends. I lucked out in the best friend lottery. 

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The most famous story about Katie comes from the night I met Eric. She had befriended Eric's friend Brian during the night and he had already nicknamed her "fiancĂ©," not because they planned to get married but because he thought she had a fiancĂ© :) At the end of the night, I found her giving Eric my number. "How do you know my phone number!?" I demanded. It was a serious question, I still could only vaguely rattle off a few of her numbers even today. I just rely on Siri to know exactly who I mean when I say, "Call Bestie." 

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The next weekend we sat in her bedroom discussing if I should meet up with Eric again. I had spent the day studying and didn't feel like going into Boston. "But, what if he is your husband?" she asked. "He's not going to be my husband," I replied. Oops. 

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It's a good story, but there are so many others.The time I met Katie in a Bertucci's parking lot at 7 am to tell her I was pregnant. The time we went out to a club by ourselves. The many Bud Lights. The many glasses of wine. The walks around the reservoir. The dinners before quilting. The tables we danced on in Aruba. The tailgating in our Superfan shirts. The phone conversations on the way to my student teaching in Australia…and the many phone conversations in the 10 years since. The voicemails that get cut off because they are so long. 

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It's funny now to look back on those first impressions and think about how little they really matter. Now, 12 years later Katie and I have a lot in common. We both have a little boy. We both value friendship. We both work hard and get overwhelmed by work. We both are married to guys that make us laugh. We both love a glass of Pinot Grigio. We both get anxiety about meeting new people or not knowing what to expect. We both love vacations. 

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We still have differences, but instead of hesitation they give us new perspective. I won't throw a Pinterest worthy birthday party, but I will certainly attend Katie's. She will not run a race, but she will cheer me on at mine. I will probably never make a quilt. She will probably never write a blog (or will she?). The feeling of being understood and supported even when the other person doesn't share the same desires is true friendship. 

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We have been through many "big things" together: college graduation, memorable birthdays, both weddings, trips and of course bringing Teddy and Max (BFFs, see above) into the world. But what stands out to me is the small things.  The fact that good news doesn't feel real until it's been shared with Katie. Or that if something annoying happens at work I can vent to Katie for my whole commute home and not even feel bad that I just massively dominated our phone conversation. That if I have no idea what I'm doing with Max, I can just quickly text "what should I do about ____?" That when "flabbergasting" things happen, I can count on a hilarious voicemail from Katie. That Katie will take care of logistics she knows are going to stress me out. That Katie wrote notes and presents to Max "from Teddy" every month of my pregnancy so Max and I have so many fun books to read and toys to play with. 

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We will still be friends when we are 90. Do you get to choose roommates in the nursing home? If so, I pick Katie. 

Do you have a best friend? Tell me all about her (or him!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Currently: Summer Edition

I last did a Currently post in January, so I think I need a summer edition! I'll include some photos of our trip to New Hampshire this past week. We stayed in the North Conway area, where I haven't been for about 8 years. It's beautiful!

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reading The Pearl that Broke It's Shell by Nadia Hashimi. So far I really like it even though I'm just completely depressed by the way women are treated in the book. I may complain, but I'm grateful to live in a time and place where my greatest injustice is the fact that I have to be pregnant and can't leave that to my husband. 

loving swimming outside! 

thinking about how to bring the relative calm and balance of summer into my working mom life...

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feeling some mix of happy, overwhelmed, tired, grateful, motivated, unmotivated…all the feelings, usually at different times throughout the day

anticipating the August breakdown and hoping maybe it just passes me by this year?

inspired by all the beauty in my backyard (well, technically speaking this area of New Hampshire is a 2 1/2 hour drive away, which it turns out feels a lot longer when a baby screams the whole time, but I always need a good reminder that I don't need to get on a plane to see beautiful things)

watching the construction vehicles outside and thinking if they wake up Max I might have to kill someone (seriously, I do not watch TV right now at all- I need to get caught up on my favorite summer shows Rizzoli and Isles and Unforgettable)

sad that summer cannot last forever

working on my "summer job" (creating an internet resources bibliography) and starting to think about the school year ahead

looking forward to being back at the Cape in a few days

grateful that I am able to spend so much time with Max and Eric right now

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listening to a steady stream of country music

wishing that summer could be as long as the school year!